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Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy #279443
11/14/17 10:38 PM
11/14/17 10:38 PM
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Nicole_B Offline OP
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Hi everyone,

I've been mostly lurking lately, but I started having some (more severe) GI symptoms recently that my doctors are checking out. (Hopefully this isn't too off-topic, but I know GI symptoms can be related.) I had a few instances of rectal bleeding -- initial exam didn't show any cause, and the gastroenterologist doesn't think it seems like hemorrhoids, so he's sending me for a colonoscopy "to get more data." He said my symptoms weren't very clear (although I'm not sure I presented them well -- the GI symptoms/discomfort I have come and go more and aren't as severe/life-impacting as my joint pain, so I don't think about it as often), but he said Crohn's is one possibility, or potentially a polyp that's sometimes getting irritated.

I'm hoping the colonoscopy gives us some answers (having normal test results can get frustrating after a while when something is definitely wrong...), although who knows if it will shed light on what else is going on.

Has anyone else had a colonoscopy and have any tips?

Also, as a side note, my wrist pain has been getting worse again. I was starting to try to do some regular yoga as a gentler exercise to help with pain and to strengthen stabilizers, etc. (seems like it's just a good form of exercise all around for a lot of things), but it's started really bothering my wrists, since a lot of the poses require putting your weight on your hands. Anyone have suggestions on that? (Either similar alternatives, or alternate poses, or whatever.)

Last edited by Nicole_B; 11/14/17 10:45 PM. Reason: added a side note

Mid-20's. Undiagnosed upper and low back/SI pain (along with hips & ribs consistently, and neck, knees, heel/bottom of foot, ankles/achilles, and wrists periodically). Diclofenac 75mg 2x/day and Prilosec 40mg 1x/day. PCOS recently diagnosed.
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279444
11/15/17 01:23 AM
11/15/17 01:23 AM
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David01 Offline
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Hello Nicole,

I get one every year. Day of the colonoscopy is pretty easy. Just show up and lie down on your side. Actually there is a little more than that but nothing that is difficult or uncomfortable.

The prep takes more effort. But it is not nearly as bad as when my colitis is in full flare.

My primary advice is to follow the prep instructions exactly. If the bowel isn't sufficiently cleared out then you have to do it all over again. Also, try to schedule the procedure as early in the day as possible since you will be fasting and can not eat until the procedure is over. I generally do not plan on doing anything after the procedure since the anesthesia leaves me a bit tired for the rest of the day.

My gastroenterologist orders a enterography mri when checking for crohn's disease. The prep for that is pretty easy, other than having to drink the barium right before the procedure.

I kind of look forward to finding out what is going on inside of me.

Good Luck!

--David


--Dave

51 years old
Dx: colitis - Sep 2014
Dx: ulcerative colitis - Oct 2014
Dx: ankylosing spondylitis - Nov 2014
HLA-B27 neg
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279446
11/15/17 12:46 PM
11/15/17 12:46 PM
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Winston Offline
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+1 on scheduling the colonoscopy as early as possible in the morning so you can do the prep overnight. The prep is awful. I usually pick a show on Netflix or Amazon that I want to binge watch and just stay up all night doing that between bathroom visits. That makes it somewhat more tolerable for me. The actual procedure is not bad. They usually knock you out with propofol. You'll feel like yourself again pretty soon after it's over because propofol wears off quickly. Have someone stay with you the rest of the day though, just in case. (Always a wise precaution after any kind of anesthesia).

As for the yoga, make fists to keep your wrists straight during those poses. It's not as comfortable or stable as doing the poses palms down, but it helps a lot.

Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279447
11/15/17 02:30 PM
11/15/17 02:30 PM
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ThreeG Offline
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I'm a 42 year old woman taking Remicade. I've had two colonoscopies--the most recent one in May. It was so much smoother than the one I had ten years ago. The new anesthesia they use is so much easier. I usually get so sick from anesthesia, but this was really just like waking up from sleep. I had a little headache after, but that was all.

As others have said, the not being able to eat and the prep is the worst part. For me, getting down that prep is the worst part. Just be sure to follow the directions, however tempting it is to not quite finish drinking that stuff! The poor woman next to me in recovery was told her colon wasn't clear, so she was going to have to come back and do it all again. I can't imagine that!

I hope you get some answers. I think I am remembering that you and I have some symptoms in common. I have a lot of minor, but annoying bowel issues, but this colonoscopy showed only some minor inflammation that they didn't think was significant. I did have a polyp ten years ago, so I was relieved not to have another. Still, I know what you mean about wanting to just find something already!

And, here's a colonoscopy funny for you. When they wheeled me back toward the procedure room, I could hear music getting louder and louder. Then, in the room, the doctor had "Gangnam Style" playing. For some reason that totally put me at ease. Then, a few days later they called with my results and my visual voicemail transcribed it a "I'm calling from Dr. Not to Tell's office! So, there's plenty to laugh about in all the unpleasantness!

Good luck!

Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279448
11/15/17 02:54 PM
11/15/17 02:54 PM
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Nicole_B Offline OP
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Thanks for the advice! I am definitely not thrilled for the prep. Winston I appreciate the binge-watching advice, I'll keep it in mind. And I will try the fists for my wrists -- we'll see if that makes them less unhappy.

I'll keep you updated on if they find anything.


Mid-20's. Undiagnosed upper and low back/SI pain (along with hips & ribs consistently, and neck, knees, heel/bottom of foot, ankles/achilles, and wrists periodically). Diclofenac 75mg 2x/day and Prilosec 40mg 1x/day. PCOS recently diagnosed.
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279450
11/15/17 03:50 PM
11/15/17 03:50 PM
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SouthernMoss Offline
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For my latest colonoscopy, I was prescribed Prepopik for the prep. So much better than the previous prep! Just two 5-oz cups of prep spaced 4-5 hours apart, with lots of clear liquids of your own choosing between and after. The pharmacy warned me it would be more expensive than the other prep, but that it would be worth it, and they were right.

Be sure to have baby wipes on hand. You will be sore by the time you're done. frown


Ginny - 58 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis, both currently in remission
unicompartmental knee replacements: right-June 2014, left-Aug 2018
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Celebrex as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Culturelle probiotic, Melatonin (as needed)
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279451
11/15/17 04:01 PM
11/15/17 04:01 PM
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SouthernMoss Offline
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On the wrist question, you might reach out to RAHMBA. He's a certified yoga instructor.


Ginny - 58 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis, both currently in remission
unicompartmental knee replacements: right-June 2014, left-Aug 2018
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Celebrex as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Culturelle probiotic, Melatonin (as needed)
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279452
11/15/17 04:12 PM
11/15/17 04:12 PM
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Winston Offline
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Oh my gosh, yes, baby wipes -- the alcohol free ones. Also diaper cream. Apply diaper cream (I liked the A&D cream) after each . . . erm . . . experience, and you'll thank me later.

Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279455
11/16/17 02:48 AM
11/16/17 02:48 AM
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I haven't had a colonoscopy yet, but when my son needed one, I read that avoiding meat for a few days ahead of the prep makes clearing things out go much more easily. Might want to consider it. Hope you find some answers!


Karen
Female, early 50's, HLA B27+, family history of SpA
Diagnoses: USpA (9/17), limited Scleroderma/Raynaud's phenomenon/Sjogren's syndrome (1/16), stroke (8/15), Factor V Leiden (8/15)
AS symptoms: right heel enthesitis/tendonitis; elbow tendonitis; mild low back/buttocks and hip pain/stiffness; normal MRI
Treatment: Cosentyx; Xarelto; vitamins D3, B12, folate
Primary non-responder to Enbrel
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279469
11/21/17 02:17 PM
11/21/17 02:17 PM
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Nicole_B Offline OP
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Thank you for the advice, I will definitely find some baby wipes etc. I had already decided to do the more expensive split prep, so I'm glad to hear corroborating evidence that it is worth it!


Mid-20's. Undiagnosed upper and low back/SI pain (along with hips & ribs consistently, and neck, knees, heel/bottom of foot, ankles/achilles, and wrists periodically). Diclofenac 75mg 2x/day and Prilosec 40mg 1x/day. PCOS recently diagnosed.
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279501
11/28/17 07:55 PM
11/28/17 07:55 PM
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RAHMBA Offline
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Thanks SouthernMoss for alerting me of the yoga question.

Nicole_B - There are several things we can try to remove the wrist pain from your practice. adjustments range from slight changes of positioning, to props, to using alternative poses.

1. try rotating hand so that fingers point slightly to the sides of the mat. right fingers towards the right.
2. try changing the angle of your wrist. placing a small prop (could be a rolled towel or by folding your yoga mat) under your wrist. so that your wrist are higher than your palms. One person I've worked with found the opposite helped and she used a wedge to lift her palms/fingers higher than her wrists.
3. this is too physically challenging for some people... rather than palms on the ground, use fists or better yet finger tips.
4. see if can distribute less weight on your hands by using a block under your palms or shortening the distance between you feet and hands in a position like downdog.
5. use alternate poses that don't involve putting weight on your wrists. if we are creative, there is always an alternative. for example, even inversions such as handstand can be done with chairs. so that no weight is placed on your wrists.

If you are in Los Angeles or Vegas, I'm happy to meet with you in person. If not, I'm happy to skype with you. I never charge people living with spondylitis for a private yoga lesson. Depending where you live, I may also be able to recommend someone near you for a private lesson. Privates can be expensive, but I think it's worth it if they get you to a place so that you can take public classes or do a home practice.

call me, toll free, at the SAA office 800-777-8189 ext 231 or email at richard.howard@spondylitis.org if you want to set up a skype practice.

btw, I've had ulcerative colitis flares every so often. so I can also relate to your other question.

Kind regards,
Rich


AS, U C, Iritis, migraines. HLA-B27neg. Yoga (instructor) & spin. No meds at this time. Dx 1989. SAA member/donor since 1993. All my posts are personal opinion/feelings and do not represent the SAA. Help find a cure & support others by donating to the SAA.
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279511
11/30/17 11:22 PM
11/30/17 11:22 PM
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Nicole_B Offline OP
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Wow thank you for all of the information Rich!

As an update to everyone, I think the colonoscopy looked normal (the doctor came in when I was just waking up, so...). But they also said they didn't take any biopsies. Is that normal? I thought they took biopsies just in case because things can show on biopsy that won't on just the scope. So now I feel like we didn't actually rule much out...


Mid-20's. Undiagnosed upper and low back/SI pain (along with hips & ribs consistently, and neck, knees, heel/bottom of foot, ankles/achilles, and wrists periodically). Diclofenac 75mg 2x/day and Prilosec 40mg 1x/day. PCOS recently diagnosed.
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: ThreeG] #282224
12/15/18 11:42 PM
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Has anyone gotten bile acid diarrhea after drinking that garbage. I have not been the same since I drank that stuff for my colonoscopy. Could cleaning out your digestive system allow inflammation to get a hold

Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #282233
12/17/18 04:25 PM
12/17/18 04:25 PM
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Banana Offline
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If they see nothing to biopsy, there isn't anything to to biopsy. So they did not see any inflammation or anything else.

Regarding your wrist. If you have any hand issues too, you might want to see a hand therapist. They taught me what to do and not to do for every activity, and proper exercises. I got great exercises for them which has helped prevent more damage. Tell the yoga teacher your problem, I definitely would not put full weight on my wrists.

Anna


Actema IV once a month (with pre loading for allergic reaction), Cymbalta x1 daily, Arava 20mg daily. Diagnosed with AS in 2004, suffered undiagnosed since 1982.
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #282356
01/09/19 07:00 AM
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Try to get an appointment when you are having a crazy flare. I am in one of those right now. Every so often I take a naproxin and I spend a good week thinking I won the ketchup eating contest before bed. I am sure ay that point if it was possible for me to schedule a colonoscopy and it not take 2 months to get an appointment they would find so.ething wrong.

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